Overall rating and opinion of "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane

Use this forum to discuss the April 2018 Book of the Month, "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane
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Kradiographer23
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Re: Overall rating and opinion of "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane

Post by Kradiographer23 » 12 May 2018, 09:37

I can somehow relate to Natalie and the struggles she'd been thru. When I was still young, I was apart from my family. My grandma had brought me up and had taken good care of me. I'll recommend this book to anyone though.

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Post by Hcurtis » 12 May 2018, 14:09

I think this book is inspirational and eyeopening for those that are in the situation of living in abusive environments and for those that are looking at helping those in abusive environments. To be able to see through the eyes of Natalie helped to get the abuse's point of view, especially if there is no way from them to leave the situation due to age or feeling a sense that you have to help protect the others in the home.

When it came to her mother's inability to leave her husband and unable to protect her children from his cruelty, I kind of sympathize with her. They live in the country with less support and if I am not mistaken it, it occurred in an era before services were formed to protect them and women had little to no rights but to try to protect their kids as best as possible.

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Post by Lgs1089 » 12 May 2018, 14:51

JR_Benavidez wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 11:15
The book takes an interesting approach to both coming of age and the reflection of wisdom. Natalie can easily relate to all ages. The author writes in a way that touches on very hard topics without seeming to overwhelm the reader: racism, an alcoholic step-father and an attempted rape. As Natalie reflects on these things as well as the taboo relationship with an older married man it's not with pain or regret but just it is a fact of life.
Her mother may be perceived as weak yet she didn't have an easy life either. A rancher's daughter, the love of her life dead in a tragic accident and yet she raised her daughter to be woman mature at the age of sixteen able to pursue her dreams when she herself was unable too.
Definitely would recommend.
I hadn't considered that Natalie was relatable to all ages. That's an excellent point!
L.G. Stewart
"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." :wine:

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Post by Jbluestocking2 » 12 May 2018, 19:57

I thought this book was brilliantly written! The author's use of vocabulary and description were rivaled only by her engaging character development. I loved how Natalie watched her mother emerge from the meek, isolating cocoon she had been in, in order to save her daughter and the future stability of the family; and how Natalie was able to gain insight not only of her mother's character, but of herself as well. I admit that the end seemed a bit too abrupt and casual; but it was a great peek inside a very different, yet relatable coming of age story.

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Post by FawkesThorn » 14 May 2018, 07:23

It is always hard to see children put into a difficult position, forced to grow up too quickly. This hits home on many levels for me and I am definitely going to read this book in full.

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Post by Review1 » 16 May 2018, 17:06

I thought this book could be inspirational but felt that all of the characters where not ones that I cared what happened with them. Natalie was a strong character and I cared about her story.

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Post by Lolo Skyooz » 18 May 2018, 16:38

I liked the book okay, but I didn't see it as "book of the month" material. I'm not sure why that is, though. I did like the writing style, even though it was sometimes so baroque that it got weighed down by adjectives. Maybe it's just that this isn't my usual preference of genre, but I just felt that the story was somewhat inconsequential toward the mid-point, and stopped reading there.

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Post by Shaggy-Reads » 18 May 2018, 23:02

The main character is written as a strong and loyal young lady. She takes on the Mother’s role and supporter in the family. I like her but wish her mother would have shown her the same love and loyalty.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy family drama. The issues within are real life problems that ring true. I am hoping for more about the main character; how is she now and where is she in her life as she grows and changes any new challenges?

I would give this a 3 out of a 4. I don’t give it a 4 because it took a push for me to get through and the mother’s character needed more development in the area of support for her daughter.

Also, some of the book is vague. As she helps the cow calf it states how she did similar with her mother. That isn’t clear about whether she helped her mother with calving or childbirth. I wish that was more detailed for understanding. There are other issues through the book with such vagueness.

Overall it is a good book for teens and adults. The plot covers many ages and is easily relatable to today’s environment. Many parents aren’t truly parenting their children. If you want to read about family drama that could be happening in your community then give this book a read. I believe this plot is more true than people care to admit. The descriptive writing is good and I really like the main character. Don’t miss out if you like drama with a real world twist.

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Post by daniya__shah3 » 19 May 2018, 03:16

The book is rather intriguing and a good read. I'd say it was worth reading. Definitely recommended.

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Post by JeanneTiberio » 19 May 2018, 15:26

I just finished reading this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend it to other women. I plan on giving it a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.
Natalie is a great central character. That was one of my favorite parts of the book. My least favorite part of the book was her infatuation with an older man. It didn't ring true for me. It would have seemed more plausible for her to be infatuated with a rebellious teenager of a similar age.
Overall, I thought this was a very good book with a suspenseful plot and good character development.

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Post by AcBoka » 21 May 2018, 17:41

I would say this is very interesting book
that I like because of it's main character Natalie. Being so strong, she is definitely someone to look up to.

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Post by Sefiros2211 » 23 May 2018, 17:36

I felt like this work is a bit autobiographical. The details are so exact that it could only have come from personal experience. Natalie quickly grew on me. There were events I detested -- I will go to my grave saying that she was unfairly seduced by Bruce Glover. Another event I found striking was Alex's death. After everything he did to his family, I found no fault in Natalie's refusal to help him. I cheered on for a character's death, which is something I don't normally do. I gave it a 3 in my bookshelves, and I would recommend the book for reading.

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Post by MidnightBasm » Yesterday, 08:50

Ironback Hill is a relatable story. The character Natalia has to suffer the lack of a protective parent, which leads to some questionable decisions on her part. She is a well developed character and her plight grounds the story in reality. I disliked, or rather did not understand, her mothers indifference so I think the author should define better this character. My rating would be 3 out of 4 stars and I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy dramas.

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Post by amybo82 » Yesterday, 21:25

I like that this book appeals to a broad range of ages. I’ve read a lot of Young Adult fiction, and I think this book fits right in. I might recommend this book to people who like character-driven stories, particularly YA novels. I also think people who enjoyed The Glass Castle will like this.
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. –Neil Gaiman

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Post by Dragonfly6 » Today, 01:15

Hcurtis wrote:
12 May 2018, 14:09
I think this book is inspirational and eyeopening for those that are in the situation of living in abusive environments and for those that are looking at helping those in abusive environments. To be able to see through the eyes of Natalie helped to get the abuse's point of view, especially if there is no way from them to leave the situation due to age or feeling a sense that you have to help protect the others in the home.

When it came to her mother's inability to leave her husband and unable to protect her children from his cruelty, I kind of sympathize with her. They live in the country with less support and if I am not mistaken it, it occurred in an era before services were formed to protect them and women had little to no rights but to try to protect their kids as best as possible.

This is such a great point! There are often times when victims of abuse have limited or no resources in certain regions, states or countries. I have worked with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and often there is one child, usually the oldest, who takes on a protector role for other members of the family who are suffering the abuse.

I enjoyed the book not only for the story it told through Natalie's perspective, but also because it was descriptive enough that I felt transported to where Natalie lived in Australia, despite never having been to Australia myself.

Additionally, I enjoyed that Natalie was a passionate, strong-willed, stubborn, and flawed character. It made her human and relatable. I could understand why she hesitated helping Alex at the end, and even though she didn't do it it in time, she did decide to to help him and tried to pull him out. Whatever the reader may think about Alex dying, it was the best thing for Natalie's family.
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